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First Commercial EV in Canberra!

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5:25 am
July 27, 2010



posts 21

Hi Everyone,

Today, I proudly took possesion of a Blade Electron – as I understand it this is the first commercially produced, fully electric vehicle to be registered in Canberra! wow – never thought I'd find myself doing that!

This all started when our company (Wollemi Systems) decided to buy a new car late last year (anyone who knows me will confirm that I'm not someone who drives 'new cars') and that if we were going down that lane, that I wanted us to buy an electric car…. …with a tick of approval, I set about the mission with glee…

I'm convinced that EV's will form a big part of a sustainable future, so why not vote with your feet – I thought, its time to demonstrate market demand!

To cut a long story short, today I cruised Canberra City, the Botanic Gardens, Belconnen, Mitchell and Dickson in a beautifully quiet and zero emissions vehicle – it really feels like a step into the future!

Its just a normal car (I'll post some photos) – it plugs in at home to charge over night, and can get me around 100km on a single charge – depending on where I drive and how fast I go…

I'll post more when I have a chance – but just thought I'd share the news!

10:44 pm
August 17, 2010

John Symond


posts 70

I am one of the privileged few to have been taken for a spin around the block at Lyneham by Haydn in his flashy new electric vehicle (EV) the converted Hyundai Getz. Shock and Awe.. It was awesome. I am still recovering…Wink

Hey! We are still waiting for the photos!

Now that the branding has been added to the exterior, I can't wait any longer!

1:04 am
August 18, 2010



posts 456

Hi John,

Haydn has now placed a media release on his company's website on 8 August with photos of his Blade Electron electric car – see it here

7:22 pm
August 18, 2010



posts 456

Post edited 12:29 am – August 19, 2010 by marea

The ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, has also put out a media release about Haydn's car as the first commercial electric vehicle in Canberra:

See ACT welcomes electric vehicle

There's also an article with a photo of Haydn and his car in today's Canberra Times.

See Electron Driving the Future

Way to go Haydn!!Smile

1:33 pm
May 14, 2011



posts 60

Sounds really cool, I'm going to check out your photos. Personally, I don't think I'll be buying an electric car until I feel my current fuel efficient conventional car reaches its end of life. I've not seen the Blade Electron, but must say the photos of the Leaf make it look like an attractive innovation. I have two practical questions though. First, as a cyclist, I find it hard enough noting where cars are behind me, although I've got a good sense of hearing so rely on the noise before I turn my head to check (otherwise the bike goes in the direction I'm looking). Plus, I notice people are pretty stupid about not looking before they cross the road these days, they just simply launch themselves onto the cross walks in some stupid, blind faith everyone will stop. The silence of the electric car is a little concerning from this perspective, do you find yourself having to be extra careful to 'be noticed'? Second, I find myself feeling stressed enough with tailgating/aggressive driving in Canberra with my normal, fuel efficient car. How does it do for quick speeding up to avoid overly frustrating the hazards of other drivers?

9:39 pm
May 25, 2011



posts 30

Quetzal said:

…The silence of the electric car is a little concerning from this perspective, do you find yourself having to be extra careful to 'be noticed'? …How does it do for quick speeding up…?

I have been driving my converted charade for two years/20,000km now. At first I expected to see people doing a 'double-take' in carparks surprised to see me move silently or at least noticing something odd as I took off. I don't think I have turned one head. I also have not noticed any more tendency for people to step out in front of me than when I am in our petrol car. The reason I think is that modern cars are very quiet anyway. At higher speed I don't think my car is particularly quiet. The dominant noise is from tyres and wind and I think it would be just as audible to cyclists as other cars. 

My car has acceleration and speed performance much the same as I would expect for an ordinary small petrol car, no better or worse. I have driven Haydn's Blade and would say the same about it. 

9:54 am
June 24, 2011



posts 36

Don't be scared to start a new topic!

Electric motor bike posts have been moved to a new topic Commercial Electric Motorbike in Canberra

Here is the Zero S  website  Cool

4:54 pm
January 9, 2013



posts 263

Is there a place in Canberra where I can buy an electric car? How much do they cost? Will the prices come down? Do you think the fuel they save would have them paying for themselves in a few years?

9:36 am
January 10, 2013



posts 30

cindy said:

Is there a place in Canberra where I can buy an electric car? How much do they cost? Will the prices come down? Do you think the fuel they save would have them paying for themselves in a few years?


Various members of CanberraEV, the local branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association have bought electric cars locally, at least one Mitsubishi iMiev and one Nissan Leaf. I understand that the iMiev price has dropped to something in the 30K$s and the Leaf is in the 40K$s. Another option is the Holden Volt but it is another 10K$ more expensive still. It is a series hybrid. That is, it is a battery electric car with a petrol generator on board that should only come on if the battery is getting low. That allows long trips while shorter trips around town can be powered mostly by electricity from the wall, preferably by purchasing GreenPower. 

I have a DIY converted electric car and have been driving it for almost 4 years. The fuel cost for me is about $500/year for about 10,000km. That is cheaper than any petrol car I could buy and maintenance costs are lower also. I still have tyres and brakes to maintain but no oil filters, spark plugs, tuning etc. That $500 is including the cost of GreenPower and paying a flat rate for electricity. I am unable to charge from the meter on my townhouse due to the configuration of our parking. Instead a neighbour has kindly let me charge from his unit that is next to the parking area. We have an extra meter in his meter box that lets us see what I have added to his bill. If I could charge at home, most of the charging could be on off peak rates by signing up for time of use metering (ACTEW's Smartsaver plan for example). Then the cost would be significantly reduced. 

I think the higher cost up front is very considerably offset by cheaper running costs but the comparison depends a lot on what fossil fuel car you would otherwise have bought. 

If you are interested to discuss further please feel free to get in touch with me (marbell at tpgdotcomdotau) and I would be happy to put you in touch with others who have commercial electric cars. The Leaf owner commented that one of the local Nissan dealers was not interested in selling him one and tried to discourage it while another was happy to sell him one and gave him a good deal. 


2:40 pm
January 25, 2013



posts 263

Thanks so much Peter for all that awesome info. Unfortunately it seems like they are really out of my price range and expertise at the moment. The most I've ever spent on a car is several thousand and that seems to keep me going for the moment. Hopefully I'm being ecologically friendly by purchasing/'recycling' old cars and getting more years out of them ..

I really like that taking into consideration the cheaper fuel though. This was my justification in spending a bit more money on a smaller car in my last purchase. Be nice if car sellers could give more people the figures for the whole costs of cars.

Anyways, I'm really excited about the prospect of us all being in electric cars in the future. Public transport is just not really an option when your work requires you to move about a fair bit

3:56 pm
January 25, 2013



posts 30

So long as the old car has reasonably good fuel economy it is probably relatively green. I think I read somewhere that the embodied energy in a car was about two years worth of petrol use in the same car, so it would not be a good idea to persist with running an old car with poor fuel economy.

Yes, it is important to encourage fleet buyers including government to buy new electric cars (and more efficient petrol cars) because the range of cars that they choose become the ones that are available as affordable second-hand cars a few years later for the rest of us. Still, I don't think an abundance of public charging points is a particularly important requirement. In practice, charging at home from an ordinary power point (or a higher rated one) will work for a lot of people based on my experience.

Still, if you plan to keep an electric car for an extended period and would otherwise have bought a cheaper new petrol car, the savings in servicing and fuel costs are enough to make the more expensive EV a good economic choice. Further weighting the balance for me is the option to run an electric car on renewable energy which you don't have for other cars.

If you have a conventional modest sized roof top PV system and you retain rather than sell your STCs (RECs), the cost of greenpower is even less: ~$30/MWh foregone rather than $75/MWh to pay for GreenPower from Actew. My 1.8KW PV system by chance feeds almost exactly the same amount of renewable energy into the grid as I take out of it to run my car $10,000km/year.


12:12 pm
January 31, 2013



posts 263

That's fantastic Peter I'm inspired to look into this more. To be honest, I've never really calculated the full cost of me running my car. I have seemed to have spent a fair bit on repairs just of late Frown I do like the idea of these electric cars becoming increasingly available second hand, that would make them more in my budget!

I checked up about changing a small car over to electric and the best price that seems available commercially seems to be $15 – $20, 000! (interstate of course) Is there any entrepreneural EV people around town who are able to convert cars for anything cheaper?

I'm going to look into who I can write to, to lobby for the ACT and Federal Governments to purchase more electric cars. The local community group 'We love 40%' (www.love40percent.org) seem to be quite strong in lobbying on transport issues. They were one of the main drivers behind our ACT government's commitment to light rail

(www.railexpress.com.au/archive/2012/november/november-7th-2012/other-top-stories/new-act-government-commits-to-light-rail). They have a public planning meeting happening tonight. I might see if they could help some of us who might be interested in putting some energy into this ..

12:33 pm
January 31, 2013



posts 30

I am not surprised that the costs you have seen for having a car converted commercially are $15-20K. I estimate the cost of doing a nice home conversion would be $12-15K so that doesn't leave much over if you have to pay for the labour. I am a assuming cottage-industry would not be able to get parts much more cheaply than an individual doing a one-off conversion.

I have not heard of anyone local wanting to do conversions commercially. However, if anyone wanted to do it themselves there are two usefull resources to mention. 1) members of the local branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (including me) are happy to help anyone undertaking a conversion and 2) one of our members is a teacher at CIT and he runs a course. 

Unfortunately I have things on this evening.

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